And then there were four…


Just wrapping up my first read of Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography.

My favorite part was this little tidbit: “Some Scientology members sincerely believed that Katie Holmes was carrying the baby who would be the vessel for (Scientology founder) L. Ron Hubbard’s spirit when he returned from his trip around the galaxy.”

Trip around the galaxy? Is that what they call it now? It’s like when we were kids, when someone died, our parents would tell us “Grandmom’s won’t be around for a while, she’s sleeping.” Or “Uncle George went on a long vacation.”

And a trip around the galaxy? I wonder if ‘Ol Ron gets a meal on that flight and what the movie is? Maybe they’re showing all of the Rocky and Rambo movies.

I don’t know. I will ponder that and get back to you.

In the meantime, it’s Championship Weekend. And unfortunately I have not reached Operating Thetan VII, the level at which Scientologists reach and become their own god.

So I remain a mere mortal, just to let you know I have no inside information when it comes to my picks. And before I get to my picks, it occurred to me that this FInal Four of teams is reminiscent of the Men’s NCAA Final Four and the Patriots are Duke of years past. Remember back in the day when you would fill out your bracket and you would put Duke in the final game automatically? And then you would try and pick out the other 3 teams that would all vie to come in second?

It’s like the Chargers, Packers & Giants are the Coppin St.’s, Weber St.’s and Valparaiso of the NFL Playoffs.

Ok, here goes nothing…

ALL LINES CURRENT AS OF 1:00PM, JANUARY 18th

Game 1 Chargers (+14) @ the Patriots

If I spent the next 1,000 years I would still not have enough time to think of a reason as to how and why the Chargers can win this game. It should be obvious by now that the only team capable of beating the New England Patriots are the
New England Patriots.

And that’s not going to happen. At least not this week.

Patriots 35, Chargers 20

Game 2 Giants (+7) @ the Packers

The Road Warriors vs. the Lambeau Leap. Game time temp expected to be around 3 degrees, which should theoretically not have much of an impact on the Giants, as they too of course play most of their games outside. Not to this level of course but they should not be as affected by the weather as the Seahawks were last week.

So which Eli will show up? Well if the past month is any indication, it will be a very talented and confident QB. And if that happens, the Giants will not only cover but they very well could win outright.

But I think this is the week that Eli and Co. find the road not so hospitable. Brett Favre is on a mission, albeit a mission to get beaten by the Pats in the Super Bowl, it’s a mission nevertheless.

Packers 28, Giants 17

The Steel Curse?
On July 18, 2006 CBS News ran an online story, in which they referenced a report that appeared in the LA Times — with the headline:

18 Ex-Steelers Have Died Since 2000

Well today, that number now stands at 19 as Ernie Holmes, who won two Super Bowls as an anchor of Pittsburgh’s famed “Steel Curtain” defense in the 1970s, died in a car crash last night at the age of 59.

Holmes’ death was not the first involving an ex-Steeler and accidental or strange circumstances.

  • Former Steelers lineman Steve Courson, 50, was killed in 2005 when a large tree he was cutting down outside his Pennsylvania home fell on him.
  • Former linebacker David Little, 46, was bench-pressing weights in his Miami home in 2005 when he suffered a heart attack. The barbell he was lifting rolled across his neck and suffocated him.
  • Former offensive guard Terry Long, 45, committed suicide in Pittsburgh in 2005 by drinking antifreeze.
  • Former offensive tackle Justin Strzelczyk, 36, was killed in a high-speed chase on the New York Thruway in 2004. With police in pursuit, the pickup truck Strzelczyk was driving collided with a tanker truck.
  • And then there was the case of Hall of Fame Center, Mike Webster. Diagnosed with brain damage in 1999 from what doctors said were too many hits to the head playing football, he died in 2002 after suffering a heart attack.

    According to the LA Times report, there was speculation that steroid abuse may have played a role in some of the deaths, but no hard evidence to that effect.

    Perhaps I am jaded from all the recent talk of steroids but I am old enough to remember players like Lyle Alzado, who went from a hulking mass of muscle to a sulking mass of bones right before our eyes, all as a result of steroid abuse.

    I just wonder if 20-30 years from now we’ll be reading stories about the baseball players of today suffering similar fates as these football players.

    ‘Til next time.

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